Still no justice done for the Islamic State’s atrocities against Non-Abrahamic Yazidis and the savage treatment of Yazidi girls and women
For fear of not offending the large number of followers of an Abrahamic religion called Islam (never mind the not so inconsequential matter of vote bank politics) despite the terrible ongoing (since the year 2001) crimes of ethno religious cleansing and the industrial scale crime against non- Abrahamic minority girls and women in Muslim majority countries , We -as Canadians & other members of so called civilized countries with democratically elected governments (and supposedly, a free media) with a perceived sense of right and wrong and respect for human rights – are still keeping quiet about the (even though ‘light skinned’ Middle Eastern ) non-Abrahamic Yazidi girls and women (where we should be opening our arms to receiving and rehabilitating them) who have survived the most savage treatment at the hands of the Islamic State and its Jihadi male fighters who came from all corners of the world.
The Kurdistan region in northern Iraq is semi-autonomous, and guarded by the peshmerga, who now had to defend the four Kurdish provinces against Isis. “Peshmerga” means “those who face death”, and the word is heavy with the historical import of the Kurdish struggle against oppression.
When they seized Mosul, Isis freed the Sunni Muslims from the city’s Badoush prison and executed 600 Shia prisoners. Sinjar district, with a population of around 300,000, was surrounded. Only a thin strip of contested road remained, linking them to the relative safety of the Iraqi Kurdistan in the north – but the journey was dangerous.
The day before Isis came was a holiday in Sinjar district, northern Iraq. Yazidis gathered to celebrate the end of a fasting period. It was 2 August 2014. In the past, they would have invited their Muslim neighbors to join the celebrations, but more recently a distance had grown between them, leading the villagers to keep mostly to their own.
When Sinjar district was attacked by Isis, more than 100,000 people fled to take refuge on Mount Sinjar. Those who couldn’t flee were rounded up. Many of the men were massacred. Thousands of Yazidis were either executed and thrown into pits, or died of dehydration, injuries or exhaustion on the mountain. So many people were missing that the enslavement of women didn’t immediately come to international attention.
The Yazidis are a majority-Kurdish-speaking religious group living mostly in northern Iraq. They number less than one million worldwide. The Yazidis, throughout their history, have been persecuted as infidels by Muslim rulers who demanded that they convert. Rather than formal ceremonies, their religious practice involves visiting sacred places. Yazidis participate in baptism and feasts, sing hymns and recite stories. The Yazidis had already been made vulnerable by forced displacement under Saddam Hussein, economic meltdown under UN sanctions, the breakdown of the state and security after the US-led invasion of 2003, and the political failures that followed. In Iraq there are now around 500,000 Yazidis,
A report published by the UN commission on Syria that designated the Isis crimes against the Yazidis as genocide.
At first, the women and girls were taken to prearranged locations in Iraq where they were handed out to the Isis fighters who took part in the attack on Sinjar. To avoid being raped, some of the girls killed themselves by slitting their wrists or throats, or hanging themselves, or throwing themselves from buildings.
To date there have been no known, large-scale rescue missions to free the Yazidi captives in Iraq and Syria, by either the US, Iraqi or Kurdistan regional governments.
Isis describes its own use of enslavement through a mix of clumsy metaphors about sex, war and power. Dividing up the captive women and children among the Isis Mujahedeen [holy warriors] and “sanctioning their genitals” is described as a sign of “realization and dominance by the sword”. They claim that genocide is permitted as per Quran and Hades.
“When we got to the farm [near Raqqa], we saw four or five buses full of Isis members with long hair and beards,” said Zahra, a farmer’s daughter from Kojo. “They were like animals. On the first day they came among us and started picking girls for themselves. Two or three of them would catch the girls, blindfold them and take them by force into a car. The girls were crying and shouting but they didn’t care.”
After two days, Zahra and her sister were taken to an underground Isis prison in Raqqa. Hundreds of women were crammed into three rooms in what was just one of several similar structures that were used for holding women in Raqqa.
Many Yazidi girls were by being held in the same compound of 100 to 200 caravans where the Libyan fighters lived. The women and girls were chained, beaten, raped and passed around like animals between the men. At the edge of the compound, a barbed-wire fence prevented them from escaping. The stories of privation and torture suffered by Yezidi women in this compound are some of the worst in a long catalogue of abuses.
Yazidi survivor: ‘I was raped every day for six months’
In 2014, so-called Islamic State fighters targeted the Yazidis, an ethnic Kurdish group in northern Iraq, killing the men and capturing the women and children. Ekhlas, who was 14 at the time, tried to escape up Mount Sinjar but was not fast enough. She was captured and held as a sex slave for six month. Such other instances are:
This reminds us as Global Citizens why we must continue to fight to #Level the Law, and compel world leaders to bring justice to the Yazidi community who faced genocide at the hands of the terror group ISIS.
We know that our actions make a difference. Thousands of Global Citizens have used their voice to demand justice and support brave Yazidis, like Nadia Murad. In response, Sweden and Belgium announced that they are in favor of referring the case of Yazidi genocide to the International Criminal Court.
Momentum is building. Together we can fight for justice for Nadia and her community.
SOURCE : THE GUARDIAN
Locator : Basu Bose
Research : D K Dattaroy